World’s largest laptop vendor wants you to buy fewer notebooks by allowing users to change batteries and other parts — but a tiny tweak could be a deal breaker

At MWC 2024, Lenovo has just unveiled two new business laptops, as part on an ongoing AI PC push, that not only bring pack some of the most powerful components around but also have one compelling feature; you can replace some internal components more easily.

Now the ThinkPad T14 Gen 5 and the ThinkPad T16 Gen 3 are nowhere near as customizable as the Framework Laptop 13 but it is refreshing to see that one of the world’s biggest laptop manufacturers teamed up with repair specialist iFixit to design and deliver its sustainability promise.

The checklist for both products include repair guides and videos as well as spare parts, all of which will allow companies to stick with the laptops for longer, which in turn may impact negatively on global laptop sales. It is a growing trend as witnessed by hyperscalers like Microsoft or Google deciding to stick longer with their servers in order to save money in the region of billions of dollars.

Bear in mind though that while you will be able to swap out the battery, the Wi-Fi module, the SSD, the RAM and the display, you won’t be able to change the CPU, unless you take out the entire motherboard. That explains perhaps why iFixit gave it a very good repairability score of 9.3 out of 10, rather than a perfect 10.

The norm, not the exception

The smaller of the two models come with a 14-inch 2.8K display, either an Intel Core Ultra with vPro or an AMD Ryzen 8040 with integrated GPU and NPU, two SODIMM modules (up to 64GB RAM), a single SSD (PCIe Gen 4, up to 2TB) , Wi-Fi 7 and up to seven ports. It will go on sale from May 2024 with an expected suggested retail price (SRP) of €1,349 (about £1,150, $1,465 or AU$2,240) excluding taxes. 

The bigger model has a 4K 16-inch OLED display, Dolby Atmos speakers and inexplicably comes with Intel CPU only; general availability is set for May 2024 and it will have a starting price of only €1,369 (about £1,170, $1,485 or AU$2,270) excluding taxes and is likely to feature in our best Lenovo ThinkPad laptop buying guide

Both of them have Lenovo’s signature TrackPoint system, a dedicated Microsoft Copilot button and an elongated lip on the top display bezel that contains two noise canceling microphones and a 5-megapixel camera and make it easier to open the laptop lid with one hand only.

Perhaps the most controversial detail is the fact that the CTRL key has been swapped with the Fn (function) key, a move that according to Lenovo, will make it “more readily accessible on the left edge of the keyboard”.

An optional optical film from 3M will also allow the brightness of the display to improve by a staggering 33% to 400 nits while reducing power consumption by 16%, which, given that a screen is often the biggest power user in a laptop, could translate into an hour’s extra battery life.

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Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.